CARLTON has received a suspended fine of $20,000 for breaching the AFL’s concussion protocols in regard to its assessment and management of youngster Cam Polson during the Blues’ loss to Collingwood last Sunday.
The diminutive 20-year-old received a knock to the head in the first quarter of the clash with the Magpies and the Blues have been sanctioned, in part, because they failed to remove him permanently from the field, which they are duty-bound to do under the AFL’s concussion guidelines.
The AFL sought and received a written explanation from the club, interviewed club staff and examined match-day footage, after which it deemed Carlton had breached AFL Regulations and imposed the fine, which is suspended until the end of the 2020 season.
In handing down the sanction, the AFL’s general manager of football operations Steve Hocking revealed the Blues’ medical officer had also failed to note, or misinterpreted, the video signs of concussion and had failed to keep him off the field for the rest of the match, as directed by the AFL Match Head Injury Assessment Form.
Hocking said that mitigating factors, which led to a suspended sanction, included the Blues’ insistence that the video on the interchange bench tablet was “significantly” less clear than the video later provided to the club, and that Polson “was not honest in reporting ‘feeling off’ at the time of the incident”.
Polson, who has played four AFL games, has been named in the Blues’ line-up to take on Port Adelaide at the MCG on Saturday.